Changes to New York's Controlled Substance Act

Rochelle Berliner represents individuals charged with illegal use and possession of controlled substances as well as trafficking of prescription controlled substances throughout New York City including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. Many of these cases involve investigations by law enforcement officers in the State of New York into doctor shopping, fraudulent visits to practitioners' offices, suspected drug diversion or illegal sales involving forgery or theft.

The Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act was introduced by Assemblyman Michael Cusick (A.8320) Senator Andrew J. Lanza (S.5720). The joint legislation would require an internet reporting program that mandates pharmacists research and report certain kinds of patient medical information. That information would include the types of prescription drugs, the quantity, and the refill restrictions.

The legislation would include fines for pharmacists for failing to adequately check the system including a fine of $500 for a first offense, $1,000 for a second offense and $5,000 for a third or subsequent violation. Under the proposed legislation, doctors and other health care professionals would also be subject to steep fines if they failed to adequately follow the new legislation.

Changes to New York's Controlled Substance Act in 2011

On August 14, 2011 certain changes were made to the controlled substance schedules in Section 3306 of the New York State Public Health Law. Schedule I additions included bath salts containing 4-methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone) and Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).

Additions to Schedule II include Lisdexamfetamine (i.e., Vyvanse) and Oripavine. Additionally, the definition of anabolic steroid was amended to mean any hormonal substance or drug that is pharmacologically related to testosterone (other than dehydroepiandrosterone, progestins, estrogens, and corticosteroids) that promotes muscle growth, or any preparation, mixture, compound, or material that contains any amount of the substances identified in §3306 Article 33 of the Public Health Law, Schedule II (h) including 41 new anabolic steroids or 18 anabolic steroid with descriptions that were clarified.

Additions to Schedule III included Embutramide or Embutane. The legislative changes made no additions to Schedule IV. Additions to Schedule V included Pregabalin, which includes Lyrica.

Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances in New York

Although the DEA rules were amended to allow for electronic prescriptions of controlled substances, New York's Department of Health has yet to update its rules to allow doctors to prescribing of controlled substances in New York State electronically. Furthermore, since April 19, 2006, New York's Public Health Law requires that all prescriptions written in New York State be issued on an official New York State prescription form.

The DEA made changes to the regulations giving doctors and other qualified health care practitioners the option of electronically writing prescriptions for controlled substances. Those changes were contained in the DEA's Interim Final Rule with Request for Comment regarding Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances was contained in the March 31, 2010 Federal Register. Effective June 1, 2010, the DEA rules also allowed pharmacies to archive, dispense and receive prescriptions electronically.

Changes to New York's Controlled Substance Act in 2013 and 2014

In February 2013, tramadol became a Schedule IV controlled substance and hydrocodone became a Schedule II controlled substance in New York. Six months late, New York's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP) took effect, requiring electronic prescribing of controlled substances and requiring dispensing data to be reported in real time.

In June 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a series of additional reform bills intended to combat heroin and opioid use as welll as prescription drug abuse. The bills allowed for expanded availability of naloxone and required expanded coverage for addiction treatment services, but also created increased penalties for practitioners and pharmacists who illegally dispense controlled substances.

Law Office | Queens Lawer for Violations of New York's Controlled Substance Act

Rochelle S. Berliner is an experienced Queens criminal defense attorney who handles all types of drug charges in New York City. The Law Office representes clients in Queens County, Kings County, Bronx County, New York County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County.

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